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Introducing the new editor
The Boscobel Dial
Joe Hart is new Dial editor
BOSCOBEL DIAL Editor Joe Hart is seen here with his wife Nikki Grossman and daughter Neva Rose. Hart and Grossman are the talented duo of the band, 'The Sapsuckers,' as well.

BOSCOBEL - Rednecks think I’m a hippie; hippies think I’m a redneck. This has been the situation for as long as I can remember.

I blame my childhood, which unfolded in a ragged cabin in a lonely stretch of woods near the Canadian border. My parents, an English teacher and a poet, cared more for books than insulation. 

I was always cold, but I always had something good to read. During the week, I might trap and skin a rabbit. On the weekend, my mother might drive us six hours to take in an opera or play in the city.

Is it any wonder that I feel so at home in the Kickapoo Valley?

I moved here twenty years ago, leaving behind a city career writing for magazines and advertising agencies, to go “back to the land.” It sorta worked out. Today, my family lives on what we lovingly call a “hippie-billy compound”— with a garden, a blue heeler, a karst fault disguised as a creek, and a collection of trailers and cabins that serve as home, kitchen, washhouse, bar, my girlfriend’s boudoir, and my own “dude-oir.” 

A few books, and plenty of insulation.

Life surprised us, however, with a career as professional musicians. Half our life is spent on the road with our band, The Sapsuckers, jockeying semi-trucks for sleeping space at the Flying J and performing for audiences in bars, church basements, and concert halls. It doesn’t leave much time for milking.

Coming back from a run of shows through Illinois or Indiana or Minnesota, Karuba Bold in the cup holder and Alan Jackson on the radio, I get the same feeling every time we tip off the edge of the flatlands into the hills and hollows of the Ocooch—this is home. 

It’s easy to take it for granted if you never leave.

Since the pandemic, of course, we’ve been mostly grounded here, hoping that live music has a future. It does, but it’s a complicated one. Venues have closed, changed hands, or switched to short-term bookings.

It’s been pleasant to spend more time on projects at home and with our now six-year-old daughter. But the check is thin.

So, it’s time for a new chapter, as it were. I’m dusting off my laptop and my fedora and going back to my roots as a newspaperman. If you see someone skulking around the byways and backwaters of Boscobel, that will be me.

Introduce yourself! (Or shoot me an email at It will be an honor to serve you.